I think Franklin Roosevelt said something eerily similar about the New Deal:
US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from “collapse.”
“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system,” Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision “to make sure the economy doesn’t collapse.”
Bush’s comments reflect an extraordinary departure from his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market, as his administration has orchestrated unprecedented government intervention in the face of a dire financial crisis.
“I am sorry we’re having to do it,” Bush said.
But Bush said government action was necessary to ease the effects of the crisis, offering perhaps his most dire assessment yet of the country’s economy.
“I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is not a, you know, a huge economic crisis. Look, we’re in a crisis now. I mean, this is — we’re in a huge recession, but I don’t want to make it even worse.”
Let’s get something clear. What Bush and Obama are doing has nothing to do with “saving” the free market” and everything to do with saving the hides of politicians who are responding to the cries of frightened people by overturning sound economic principles in favor of corporate handouts to failing companies who gambled and lost and now want the taxpayer to subsidize their recklessness and incompetence.
And just what does Bush call this economy if not “collapsed?” He is pumping $8 trillion into the economy and I would like to know what difference it has made? The credit markets are no better, unemployment is skyrocketing, businesses from Main Street to Wall Street are either failing or hanging on by a thread. Negative growth, prices deflating, and consumer confidence is the lowest it has been since records have been kept.
Tell me, what good has all this free money done? What has it prevented? Worse? It is hard to see how things could be much worse. If Bush had allowed market forces to work as they should have, we would have seen bankruptcies, mergers, reorganizing, and a general winnowing out of winners and losers. Yes, people would be no better off - they would still be losing their jobs, companies would still be closing their doors, unemployment would still be skyrocketing.
But the seeds of recovery would already have been sown. Successful companies would know how to weather this storm and emerge on the other side even stronger. Once recovery began, it would be rapid and robust.
All of this bailout money has delayed the inevitable. It is not steering the economy to a soft landing. It is not saving one single job. Even the auto bailout is delaying the inevitable collapse of car companies that make few products that people want to buy and who refuse to face the fact that their labor costs and business plan are outdated, outmoded, and out of luck. Eventually, we are going to have to nationalize The Big Three completely or keep pumping tens of billions of dollars down a black hole of failure, cowardice, and incompetence.
George Bush is a fool if he think he has “saved” anything.
This blog post originally appears in The American Thinker